It’s no secret that Seattle has one of the largest homeless populations of anywhere in the county. Some reports show the city spent as much as $86 million in 2018 to address the crisis, only to see our homeless population of people living on the street surpass 12,000.
With dollar amounts like $86,000,000 in spending, it’s hard to wrap my head around where that money is actually going. We can only hope that it is finding its way into the right hands and that eventually we’ll see a turn-around in the number of people on the street. But even as the city scrambles to find the right formula, there are some that are stepping up to make a difference in the lives of those caught in the cycle of homelessness. One such group is the Rose Prayer Christian Ministry; also known as the Circle of Love Outreach lead by Bishop Ray Rogers.
For nearly five years, in the rain, snow, or blazing heat Bishop Rogers and members of both his personal and church family have spent Saturday mornings feeding our homeless in the park just south of the King County Courthouse. There may have been a missed Saturday while Bishop Rogers recovered from a heart attack last year, or complications due to diabetes and other health issues. But as his body has allowed, Bishop Rogers and the team have been downtown, ministering to the needs of the city.
The $86,000,000 in prevention funds? No, Circle of Love Outreach doesn’t see any of that. Like many of those on the front line, they are seen as “too small” to receive funding. The food and beverages that they provide are purchased with money from the church, individual volunteers, and community partners. Sometimes the blessing is overflowing and many leave with a to-go box of food for later; while other times the blessing is lean. But Bishop Rogers will tell you that the meal is only part of loving his neighbors. As someone who went through homelessness of his own years ago, and slept in that same park, Bishop Rogers knows the value of a kind word, a listening ear, and a prayer of healing.
Partners are needed. Often we look at the problem and feel overwhelmed.
The job is so big that we tune out. But if you want to help, start here. Let’s
help Circle of Love continue their good work by volunteering time or sending a
donation to help with the cost of meals.
5900 37Th Ave S ( Box H-41 )
Seattle, WA 98118